Yesterday, Inspy Romance’s 7th Annual Birthday Bash kicked off — one whole month of opportunities to win one of our 14 fabulous prizes!
We had our own family birthday bash a week ago. While it didn’t last a whole month like Inspy Romance, it did go on the entire weekend, and I was absolutely bushed by the time Sunday came.
In September, I blogged about my big Six-Oh. Well, here we go again because on February 5th, my husband Noel turned 60.
On my 50th and 60th birthdays, Noel went all out to make the occasions special. Although I didn’t feel obligated to do the same, and he’d insisted I don’t make a fuss of his birthday, I wanted to. I mean, sixty is a big deal — right? — and he totally deserved being spoiled. There was only one problem … we were going to be separated on the day.
Ten days before his birthday, I had to unexpectedly fly to Cape Town again to look after and homeschool my grandkids after our government closed private schools that had already opened and delayed the opening of government schools. Well, I wasn’t going to let my hubby’s 60th go by without celebrating with him. So I booked him a flight to Cape Town for a long weekend in this beautiful city. And what a weekend it was! Noel was so surprised and touched by everything we’d planned for him.
While we enjoyed a great breakfast at his favorite wine farm on Saturday and dinner that night with family, ending the festivities on Sunday morning with a little relaxation time on the beach, I’m going to focus on his actual birthday on Friday.
When Noel arrived at my son’s house on Thursday night, the dining room table was filled with an array of balloons. By the time he woke on Friday morning, the table had been transformed with birthday presents, cards from the grandkids, and a birthday cake complete with a Groot bobblehead figurine. We did need to explain the logic behind the cake topper…
The message read as: “60, now you’re groot…” For those who don’t know Groot, he’s this really cute tree character from the movie, Guardians of the Galaxy character, and all he can say is, “I am Groot.” But in Afrikaans, one of the eleven official languages in South Africa, “groot” means big/grown up. So in essence, we were telling my hubby that now that he’s 60, he’s all grown up, although sometimes when I see him mucking around with his grandsons, I have to wonder.
After Noel opened his gifts, my daughter-in-law and I prepared crepes filled with cream cheese, figs, and rocket (arugula) for breakfast, accompanied by champagne and orange juice, or a mimosa as I subsequently learned. Breakfast was enjoyed outside in the glorious Cape Town sunshine. We then proceeded to have some photobooth fun…
That evening, we had my niece, her son, and one of my son’s friends from Nigeria who has adopted Noel and I as his South African parents, over for a braai (or barbeque in most of your countries). We’d also arranged a Zoom party with other family members. My son in Finland was online, as was my niece and her husband in London (they had a cranky baby so had to leave quite soon), my husband’s brothers — one in Mali (top of Africa) and the other in Melbourne, Australia — and finally, a friend of hubby’s in Johannesburg. We chatted with everyone for hours, and even played games…
Friends and family shared stories about Noel, like this one from my daughter-in-law:
“I have so many and just couldn’t choose… from late night tea and biscuits and chats, to running after each other whipping with dishcloths, to sharing favourite foods, recipes, to amazing holidays, to late night driving around, to killing spiders with your fingers, always a shoulders to cry on. I know that no matter what I can quickly call you and you will be there as fast as you can. Even though technically I am your daughter in law, you love me like I was your own flesh and blood. Dad you are an amazing man, father, Oupa and friend to many…we are so lucky to have you in our lives!”
Or this message from our “adopted” Nigerian son: “A model man, golden example of a truly loving father. Love you, Pa.”
Or this story from his brother in Australia: “Growing up with Noel made me realise how lucky I was to have such a gentle brother 😁… I, remember when … Noel shot me with a pellet gun; Noel threw a stone at me and I ended up getting stitches in my head. We were on my grandparents farm and I cut my leg and had 6 stitches—just above my knee. Noel chased me in anger, and in order to escape, I jumped off a wall and burst the stitches open. Imagine how bad it could have been if he wasn’t such a gentle soul 😁🤣🤣🤣🤣 But to get even, Athol [other brother] and I, inspired by Evil Knievel, put Noel in a go-Cart and pushed him into a burning tunnel of thatch grass, which had been thoroughly doused in petrol. Alas, that did not end well… Love you, boet [brother] — so glad we all made it through those early years. I’m proud to call you brother.”
There were many other wonderful memories spoken about as well as acclamations of praise for the man, and father, my husband is.
The “How Well Do You Know Noel” game was interesting, and many realized that although they’ve known Noel for decades, they still had a lot to learn about him.
Finally, we played Chubby Bunny, which had us screaming with laughter and tears rolling down our cheeks. The Zoom party guests had not come prepared with marshmallows, but we had and were all able to partake in this fun party game (plus entertain those online in the process). The winner was my daughter-in-law, Amy, with a total of ten marshmallows. I gagged at six. Here’s a video of hubby playing Chubby Bunny.
Although my son in Finland didn’t have marshmallows, he did his bit for the game by running outside (minus 22 degrees Celcius) and eating a handful of snow.
I gave Noel two very unique gifts which he loved. I designed a canvas print of our family in cartoon format (the mug and t-shirt I had printed with the same design, I gave to my grandsons to give to him).
The second gift was a figurine I’d had commissioned by a polymer clay artist of a special day out we’d had about two years ago with our grandsons. The figurine arrived just before Noel’s Zoom party was about to start. Whew!
All in all, Noel’s birthday weekend was extremely memorable, and together as a family, we created moments he will treasure for the rest of his life.
But back to the Inspy Romance Birthday Bash… While Inspy Romance don’t have polymer figurines or canvas prints or fancy breakfasts or mouth-watering braais (barbeques) to give away, we do have something we know will be far more enticing to you, our readers… Five paperback bundles (USA only) including Inspy Romance tote, pen, notepad, and bookmark! Six ebook bundles! Two international paperback bundles! And finally, one grand prize comprising of paperbacks, Inspy Romance tote, pen, notepad, bookmark, Kindle Fire, handmade journal, and silver spoon bookmark. All you have to do to stand a chance of winning is to comment on any Inspy Romance blog post between February 12 and March 13, 2021. The more posts you comment on, the more chances you have of winning.
I will be giving away an e-copy of my Oklahoma Romance Writers IDA contest inspirational novel winner, A Time to Push Daisies. Like my husband, the hero in this book, Caleb Blume, is my favorite over sixty hero that I’ve ever written. Probably because I’m quite certain many of Caleb’s quality traits were inspired by my own dear, sweet hubby.
What special birthday bashes have you been fortunate to attend/arrange? Have you attended any Zoom birthday parties? We’d love to hear your stories.